LT / The Proust Questionnaire #19

12:00:00 AM

Question: Who are your heroes in real life?

My mother tops this list, obviously - she is the most amazing woman to ever walk this earth. But the question allows me to mention more than one, and here is my list:
She set my path to be a writer.
(photo borrowed from her Facebook page)
1. Mrs. Menchi Cruz, my high school English teacher
She truly encouraged me to write. I've been writing since I was a young girl, and I've had teachers who believed in me enough to send me to writing competitions, some of which I actually won. But Mrs. Cruz was different; she nurtured me, not just as a writer, but as a person. In a big way, she's responsible for getting me where I am now.
(photo from the internet)
2. Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan
When I was a kid, I would stay up late to watch The World Tonight, waiting for news from the Middle East because my father worked in Saudi Arabia. The first time I heard Bhutto's name, I chuckled a bit because I was a silly kid ("buto" is Tagalog for bone). But the dual-language pun did the trick: I started paying attention.

Bhutto is the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan who served two non-consecutive terms from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996. She was in office at a time of great racial tension in her country, and she was dubbed "Iron Lady" because she wasn't afraid to make unpopular decisions. Don't get me wrong, though - I am aware that she's far from perfect. She and her husband were investigated for allegations of corruption, and though she was never actually convicted, her husband went to prison for eight years for the same charges.

But she was more than just a politician to me; she is an icon for women empowerment. Political history all over the world is dominated by men; women leaders were few and far between. If only for that, Bhutto was an inspiration to me. Although I didn't follow her story after 1997, I was saddened to hear that In 2007, a day after my birthday, she was assassinated as she was leaving a campaign rally.
Renaissance Man
(image from the internet)
3. Jose Rizal, National Hero of the Philippines
I recently visited Dapitan, and I of course went to Rizal Shrine and to the Rizal Museum, which was temporarily housed in the Dapitan City Public Library due to ongoing renovations. I've read many books about Jose Rizal, most of which were required for school. I picked up the others because he truly was an interesting character: a true Renaissance man. He was a man ahead of his time. Actually, I think he's even ahead of our time.

Who are your heroes in real life?


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